Lots of little tidbits today as Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy discussed their “disappointing” season with the media on Friday afternoon, addressing injuries, pitching woes, offensive slumps and an overall lack of depth to make up for it all.
“We didn’t have enough depth. Last year we seemed to be able to overcome injury and lack of performance, and we weren’t able to do that this year,” said Sabean.
“We didn’t have the stability from our starters that we’re accustomed to. We had some guys that had some rough years, Vogey going down, Barry Zito had a tough time getting on track. I’m encouraged by Matt Cain, how he threw in the second half,” said Bochy. “When it was early we were scoring enough runs to cover some of them, and then in early June, they hit their stride and got on track and then our offense slowed down.”
Sabean said that he thought the Giants’ chance to repeat was really in 2011, until Buster Posey went down.
“I might have been the most surprised person in the world, or in the organization, when we won last year, maybe moreso in the fashion we won,” he said. “What we were trying to do is to get one more year out of the group at hand, and it just didn’t work for a lot of reasons.”
“It’s safe to say that the window with the group at hand has closed.”
He said that while they will explore the options around free agency and the trade market, it will be tough. Their main goal is to re-sign the talent they have right now. Javier Lopez is a priority to bring back to the bullpen, and they haven’t made a big decision on Ryan Vogelsong.
As far as prospects go, Heath Hembree was the name that came up from both Bochy and Sabean when it came to those that impressed. The rest of the young pitchers in the Giants organization are promising, but it will likely be another season before we see them in San Francisco.
“We’ve got as much pitching talent in the lower minor leagues as anybody. The dilemma is at they’re at the lower level…we’ve got some guys that can move fast. I’m a big believer that if you’re a strike-thrower and you’re confident in the ability that you can use all your pitches that you might not have to pitch at Triple-A. Triple-A is not a good read for us in the Pacific Coast League. Our goal is to get some of these guys to Double-A, build their innings.”
The younger pitchers are more geared toward 2015, which leaves a big question mark in the Giants’ rotation for next season. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are locked up, but beyond that, it’s uncertain. Sabean said Vogelsong could be brought back if it fit into the plans, and Lincecum is in the air.
“I think overall it’s been a pretty good year for Timmy. I don’t think the numbers are really indicative of how he threw. He’s had some tough luck and thrown some nice ballgames and we couldn’t give him a win,” said Bochy.
While the Giants will be talking to him soon, Sabean also said that they would be looking for an addition to the rotation, noting “we have another starter on our wishlist, per say, with or without Timmy,” said Sabean.
Sabean also mentioned the impact that Zito has had on the Giants, and that he doesn’t regret his contract
“As crazy as it may sound to you folks, if I had to do it over again, I would have done what we did to sign Barry Zito. I think we’ve learned a lot from his time here..and quite frankly when we needed him the most, he helped us win a World Series.”
Pablo Sandoval will be entering the final year of his contract, and he has a lot of work to do.
“It’s amazing when you look at the scoreboard,”said Sabean. “The sky’s still the limit and we’re still waiting for that. It’s up to Pablo, he’s on the last year of his contract and he needs to step it up for this organization and do enough to have us keep him here or get ready for free agency. It’s in his court now, we’ve done all we could.”
Also a congratulations to Hunter Pence, this years winner of the Willie Mac Award.
“I hope he’s not listening because I don’t think he knows he won the award,” said Bochy.
An odd announcement for an odd player, who also was named to Brandon Phillips’ All-Swag team. Check that out here.
Last Orange Friday of the season. Tonight’s Giants’ lineup:
For the Padres: